These days our BlackBerry devices are so much more than just phones, or even email devices. They can perform a wide range of functions, from accessing the Web to getting us turn by turn directions. It’s the latter we’re discussing today. Using your internal, or even an external Bluetooth receiver, you can get turn by turn directions on your BlackBerry, plus other services like points of interest, local businesses, gas stations, and more. The problem is, how do you rig it up so that you’re not glancing down into your lap every few seconds to check the thing? So today we’re going to check out car mounting kits.
Carcomm Mobile PDA Cradle
BBGeeks reviewed the Carcomm cradle a while back, noting that it’s pretty good at what it does. It has an easy interface, allowing you to mount the cradle to the dash via a suction cup on the windshield. They even include a moistnap so you can wipe the suctioned area clean. Neglecting this step, as I found out later, can cause a bad suction and the cradle to fall unexpectedly. Still, it’s a quality mounting system if done properly. The hookup is a bit annoying at times. As I noted, there’s just too much wiring. This is mainly for people who want to hardwire the cradle into their dash, but I’m figuring most people want the flexibility to remove the cradle when they please. This extra wiring has to be stowed somewhere, which can be a pain. Other than that, though, it’s pretty clean. It has a gooseneck swivel, so you can rotate the BlackBerry to face you, making it easier to read. If you’re looking for a non-permanent solution, the Carcomm Mobile PDA Cradle could work. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t require any hard wiring.
iGrip Universal Fit Sturdy Swivel Mount
The folks at iGrip are trying to take the car kit market with their universal fit models. The idea is simple: instead of a fixed-size cradle, why not make the sides adjustable so that nearly any device can fit in comfortably? The sides are padded, so there’s no damage done to your BlackBerry. Once you have it installed, you can swivel the device up and down, left and right. The best part about this is that you can choose your mounting place, depending on the layout of your vehicle. For some it might be easy and preferable to mount it right to the windshield. However, not all cars and trucks work best that way. For some it would work better to mount it to the dashboard. With iGrip’s self-adhesive power-disc, you can take advantage of that option. The downside is that it doesn’t come with a cigarette-lighter adapter to power your device. This is essential when using GPS, as it can drain the battery. That’s just another thing to buy, which can be a pain for some. Still, if you want to take advantage of the universal cradle, you can get the iGrip Universal Fit Sturdy Swivel Mount at the BBGeeks Store for $30. They also have one that mounts to your car’s vent, if you want that option available.
Akron Weighted “Friction Style” Dash Mount & Holder
Did you know that a few stats ban windshield suction cup mounts? That pretty much rules out the Carcomm model for these citizens, and forces them to use the sticker on the iGrip. Some people, though, just don’t want to use an adhesive on the dashboard. When it comes time to sell the car, completely cleaning it off can be a major pain. This is where Akron’s friction style dash mount becomes viable. Friction style dashboard devices have been popping up lately, to the point where someone like me, who doesn’t drive his car more than two, three times a month, starts to notice. I see it mostly as a place to stow your phone, though not necessarily as a mount. It’s a pad that adheres without glue to the dashboard and whatever you place on top of it. So you can ride around with your cell phone on the dashboard without it sliding around. With major bumps, though, you’re on your own. Akron’s model has this friction style adhesive on the bottom of the mount. This keeps the unit in place. Again, it sounds susceptible to big bumps which might cause the unit to come clean off the dash. To prevent against this, Akron includes a few safety measures, including a hook that adheres to the dash. This should help keep the unit in place, even if you hit a nasty pothole. You can get the Akron Weighted “Friction Style” dash mount for $30 at the BBGeeks Store. As with the iGrip, it does not include a cigarette adapter, so that’s another item to think about.
Krusell Windshield Mount
I don’t bring this last item to the fore because it’s particularly useful, though it is easy on the wallet. In viewing the Krusell Windshield Mount, you might wonder: “Where’s the actual cradle?” The short answer is that there is none. Then how does it work? By integrating another Krusell product. If you have the Krusell Leather Belt Clip, you can hook that right up to the windshield mount. It’s kind of a cool concept. Now you don’t even need to take your Berry out of its case in order to mount it in the car. You can just detach it from your belt and snap it onto the swivel arm. When you get out of the car, just detach from the swivel and reattach to your belt. It’s a neat concept. The thing is, the windshield mount is pretty useless without the case. And if you get the Krusell Windshield Mount ($14.95 at the BBGeeks Store), plus the leather belt clip ($12.95), you’re heading into the price range of other, more complete mounts. I bring this up, though, because of the entire idea behind it. Imagine if other BlackBerry cases had the capacity to hook up to a swivel arm in your car. It would make life a bit easier. That’s what I’ve got for now, folks. If you use a car mounting kit, let us know in the comments. Not that I need to say so, but also let us know what you think of it.